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can't they reach an agreement in washington? >>> extreme weather. more heavy snow and crippling delays from that massive storm with another one on the way. tonight, how will it impact the holiday weekend? >>> got milk? why the price of a gallon could more than double in the next few days. what's behind this huge potential increase? >>> and the lives they led. our annual look back at some of those we lost this year. "nightly news" begins now. >>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. >> good evening, i'm natalie morales in for brian. just how bad is the situation in washington with only five days left before we reach the fiscal cliff? in a highly unusual move, lawmakers are being called back to work during this holiday week. but if today was any indication, it doesn't appear congressional leaders are ready to play nice, as they continue to play the blame game and point fingers at each other. meanwhile, many americans are feeling high anxiety, knowing those automatic spending cuts and tax hikes will impact every single one of us if
to washington. but with just six days to go, homes for a last-minute deal may be fading. nbc's kristin welker is with us tonight from honolulu. kristen. >> reporter: natalie, good evening. with president obama flying home this evening, the political rhetoric has already started, with republicans urging action in the senate, and with democrats calling on republicans to put middle class families first. the president and first lady spent part of their christmas visiting troops in honolulu. >> we want to say thank you. we love you. >> reporter: but now he heads back to a snowy washington, where the last hope for a deal to avert the fiscal cliff is the senate, which returns tomorrow. majority leader harry reid is devising a partial solution that could ease economic fears. >> if we go over in a chaotic fashion, where members of congress are deeply grid locked with no sign of coming together, then we're likely to go over and stay over. and that's very problematic. >> reporter: going over the cliff would restore higher bush era tax rates and trigger deep spending cuts on january 1st. congress set up
and costly changes for each and every american family, unless the folks who control washington can act to head it off. it is really a fight over your money, and things like medicare, a majority of americans believe the wealthy should pay more in taxes. that is something the president ran on. and today, he went on the road to push his case. this is all part of a dance that has got to end in serious talks and ultimately some compromise to avoid this moment known as the fiscal cliff. with 32 days to go until the make or break point, it is where we begin tonight with our white house correspondent kristen welker, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, president obama tried to sell his plan in the suburbs of philadelphia today. it is a tactic he thinks has worked in the past, but it did very little to sway the congressional republicans. president obama turning up the heat on republicans. >> hello, hatfield. >> reporter: taking his case for higher taxes on the wealthy to pennsylvania today. >> i don't think it is acceptable to you for just a handful of republicans in congress to hold middle
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